Fruit exports from South Africa and China are set to get a major boost with the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries.

The South African fresh fruit industry is the country’s largest exporter of agricultural products. It employs over 260 000 workers and supports one million livelihoods.

Last year, South Africa exported over 2,8 million tons of fresh fruit to overseas markets. However only a small percentage of these went to China. With a population of approximately 1,38 billion and the demand for fresh fruit expected to continue growing over the next few years, China offers a major opportunity for further market expansion. As a result, the local industry aims to increase its exports to the country over the next five years. This way, the industry contributes towards increased employment in the sector.

Signing of the MoU

The MoU was signed between Xiaohu Xu, vice-president of the China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA), and Justin Chadwick, chairperson of the board of Fruit South Africa (Fruit SA). This MoU will increase exports, as it promotes greater co-operation and statistical information exchange between the countries’ fresh fruit industries.

Xiaohu Xu, vice-president of the China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA).

To this end, Fruit SA and CFNA will:

  • Support trade visits between South Africa and China for the representatives of each association.
  • Co-operate in the areas of technology exchange.
  • Promote information exchange on relevant matters such as fruit export and import statistics between the two countries, changes in regulatory legislation, and customs procedures.
  • Support each other’s publicity and promotional activities where appropriate.

The two associations will also nominate a working group to review the effective execution of commitments in the MoU, which has been effective from the date of its signing at the end of December last year. The group will comprise at least one representative from each association and will monitor the implementation of projects. It will also address any issues that may arise from the agreement.

Justin Chadwick, chairperson of Fruit SA, and Vangile Titi-Msumza, vice-chairperson of Fruit SA.

The CFNA represents over 6 800 companies across China. These comprise some of the largest agricultural corporations in the country, as well as many small and medium businesses. With 44 chambers of commodities, all of which have nationwide membership, the chamber represents all agricultural, forestry, food, and farm products.

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